Council holds first meeting in new chamber
City of Newcastle will mark a milestone with the first ‘Ordinary Council Meeting’ held at the new chambers at the City Administration Centre.
The meeting will be the first held at a location outside of City Hall and due to COVID safe precautions, will utilise a hybrid format, with Councillors having the option to attend the chamber in person or log in to the meeting remotely via video conferencing.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Ordinary Council Meeting is a milestone in the relocation of its City Administration Building to Newcastle West.
“Our new City Administration Centre makes the best use of every piece of space and utilises the modern design to enable staff to meet the growing demands of our ever evolving city.
“The Digital Library, co-located with our Customer Service Centre on level one, has been designed to be easily packed away to allow the space to double as the Council Chamber when meetings occur twice each month.
“The chamber was designed to enable it to be moved into storage so the space can be used by the library and community when meetings are not taking place.
“The new modern chamber is also equipped with technology that allows for an adapted meeting format to take place to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. This technology is not available in the preserved heritage chambers at City Hall.”
Remote participants will be visible and audible to the Chamber participants on two large ceiling mounted screens and speaker system installed in the chamber.
Everyone will be able to tune in to the livestream on City of Newcastle’s website from 6pm as the COVIDSafe plan unfortunately does not allow the community to physically attend the meeting at this time.
While the change of meeting location ushers in a new era for City of Newcastle, its historic 90–year-old City Hall will continue to be used by the community.
City Hall’s historic Council Chamber will be opened to the public, community groups and still used for Council committee meetings.
The City is developing programs which promote access to the chamber and civic spaces, including information and education about the City’s civic history and the City Hall building.